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Haiti president assassinated at his private residence

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Jovenel Moise
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President Jovenel Moise of Haiti has been assassinated.

According to a statement from the office of Claude Joseph, interim prime minister of Haiti, Moise was killed overnight at his private residence.

“He was fatally wounded by a group of unidentified men, some of whom were speaking Spanish,” the statement said.

Gunmen were said to have broken into Moise’s residence at about 1am on Wednesday.

The PM called for calm in the country, saying “police and armed forces are in control of the situation, and all measures are taken to guarantee the continuity of the State and protect the Nation”.

Martine Moïse, the first lady, is said to have been wounded in the attack.

In February, Moise accused some persons of trying to kill him and overthrow his government.

More than 20 persons, including a supreme court judge and an inspector-general of police were arrested following the accusation.

“There was an attempt on my life. That plan was aborted,” he had said.

While speaking with journalists, Moise had said the alleged plot on his life began last November but did not provide further details or any evidence to buttress his claim.

The late 53-year-old president’s time in office had been faced with violent protests and demands for his resignation.

His supporters and opponents are embroiled in a bitter dispute over when his term began and when it will end.

In Haiti, presidential terms last for five years and always begin on February 7, after elections.

The country’s presidential election in October 2015, in which Moise was elected in the first round, was annulled because of fraud. A year later, he was declared the winner in the second round of the repeat election and was finally sworn in on February 7, 2017.

The opposition had argued that Moise’s five-year term should have ended on February 7, 2021, but the late president had insisted that he had one more year to serve as he did not take office until February 2017.

Amid accusation of corruption, the opposition had said Moise was on his way to becoming a dictator.

They alleged that the president’s handling of the country has led to a surge in violent gang crimes and kidnappings as well as worsening living standards in Haiti.

The late president was also blamed for the postponement of the country’s legislative elections from October 2019 to October 2021, which has left the nation without a parliament.

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International

Ruto Sworn In As Kenya’s President

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William Ruto takes Oath of Office as New Kenya President
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William Ruto was sworn in as Kenya’s fifth post-independence president at a pomp-filled ceremony on Tuesday, after his narrow victory in a bitterly-fought but largely peaceful election.

He was sworn in by the Chief Judge, Martha Koome, on Tuesday at a ceremony held in the packed Moi International Sports Centre in Kasarani.

Amid cheers from the excited crowd, Ruto swore an oath of allegiance and another oath for the execution of the functions of the office.

“I William Samoei Ruto, in full realisation of the high calling I assume as president of Kenya, do swear that I will be faithful and bear true allegiance to the public of Kenya, that I will obey, preserve and protect this constitution of Kenya,” he said.

Ruto beat his rival Raila Odinga — who had been backed by outgoing president Uhuru Kenyatta — by less than two percentage points in the August 9 poll.

The 55-year-old rags-to-riches businessman, who once sold chickens on the roadside, now faces a daunting task to steer a polarised country gripped by a cost-of-living crisis and punishing drought.

His rise to State House has been closely watched by the international community, which looks to Kenya as a reliable and stable democracy in a turbulent region.

Foreign allies and independent observers praised the conduct of the vote, which was largely peaceful and free of the violence that has marred past elections in the country of 50 million people.

Ruto won by only around 200,000 votes out of 14 million but the Supreme Court on September 5 upheld his victory, dismissing his opponents’ claims of fraud and mismanagement.

Outgoing head of state Kenyatta, who in a stunning turn of events had backed his longtime arch-rival Odinga in the election race, has promised a smooth transfer of power.

Kenyatta finally shook hands with Ruto at a meeting at the presidential residence on Monday after pointedly failing to publicly congratulate his deputy for several weeks.
Ruto has struck a conciliatory tone, extending a “hand of brotherhood” to his rivals and their supporters.

“We are not enemies. We are Kenyans,” Ruto said after the court’s decision.

But Odinga turned down an invitation to attend Tuesday’s ceremony and instead travelled outside the country, charging in a statement that the election body did not conduct a “free and fair” poll.

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Queen Elizabeth II dies at age 96

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Queen Elizabeth II
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The United Kingdom’s longest serving monarch, Queen Elizabeth II has died

The Queen died at Balmoral at the age of 96, after reigning for 70 years.

Family members gathered at Queen’s Scottish estate after concerns grew about her health earlier on Thursday.

The Queen came to the throne in 1952 and witnessed enormous social change.

With her death, her eldest son Charles, the former Prince of Wales, will lead the country in mourning as the new King and head of state for 14 Commonwealth realms.

A statement by the Buckingham Palace said: “The Queen died peacefully at Balmoral this afternoon.

“The King and the Queen Consort will remain at Balmoral this evening and will return to London tomorrow.”

All the Queen’s children travelled to Balmoral, near Aberdeen, after doctors placed the Queen under medical supervision.

Her grandson, Prince William, is also there, with his brother, Prince Harry, on his way.

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International

Pakistan Flood: Death Toll Tops 1,000

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Pakistan Flood: Death Toll Tops 1,000
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The death toll from monsoon flooding in Pakistan since June has reached 1,033, according to figures released Sunday by the country’s National Disaster Management Authority (NDMA).

It said 119 people had died in the previous 24 hours as heavy rains continued to lash parts of the country.

The annual monsoon is essential for irrigating crops and replenishing lakes and dams across the Indian subcontinent, but each year it also brings a wave of destruction.

Officials say this year’s monsoon flooding has affected more than 33 million people — one in seven Pakistanis — destroying or badly damaging nearly a million homes.

The NDMA said more than two million acres of cultivated crops have been wiped out, 3,451 kilometers (2,150 miles) of roads destroyed, and 149 bridges washed away.

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